The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest For… Test | Final Test - Hard

Brian Greene
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 185 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the number of extra "curled up" dimensions affect the vibration of strings?

2. Which of the following will occur after the collapse of the universe as predicted by string theory?

3. Which of the following methods has been used to determine the shape of the Calabi-Yau space?

4. What is the importance of the string-coupling constant?

5. How does the shape of the extra "curled up" dimensions affect the vibration of strings?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is a virtual string pair, and how is it formed?

2. What is the major problem preventing string theory from gaining widespread acceptance, and why does this problem persist?

3. Describe the big bang according to string theory.

4. Describe the state of the universe's expansion, including what its ultimate fate might be.

5. Describe the nature and importance of the procedure discovered by Yau and Tian.

6. Describe Kaluza-Klein theory.

7. How is the shape of the Calabi-Yau space is determined?

8. What is the Calabi-Yau space?

9. Are the extra-dimensions demanded by string theory, space or time dimensions? How are those dimensions experienced in everyday life?

10. What is the relative composition of matter in the universe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Into the Unknowns

In the final chapter of the book, the author calls the readers attention to the major problems remaining in string theory, as well as to its most promising achievements. Confirmation of string theory is still far away, but the theory is so elegant and has so much potential that it cannot and should not be let go. This essay is about a final assessment of string theory's status and overall worth.

Part 1) Discuss the major shortcoming of string theory, especially the problems with experimental confirmation. Include a discussion of the perturbation method and its validity.

Part 2) Explain string theory's most important assets, including its incredible descriptive power, and its ability to unite quantum mechanics and general relativity. Be sure to discuss the promising new progress that Greene outlines in the later chapters.

Part 3) Using all of the information presented in the book, assess string theories status. How stable is its foundation? Is it likely to be the final theory of everything?

Essay Topic 2

The Calabi-Yau Space

The shape of the extra dimensions in our world turns out to be critical to the properties and physical laws that we observe every day. The particular shape of these spaces has been determined to be a Calabi-Yau shape, a class of exotic multi-dimensional shapes.

Part 1) Describe the importance of the shape of the extra dimensions. Why is this importance only relevant to string theory? What would the effects be if these shapes were different?

Part 2) Use descriptions from the book to explain the nature of Calabi-Yau spaces. What unusual characteristics do they have? What would it be like to move through such a space?

Part 3) Explain some of the work that has been done to relate the shape of the Calabi-Yau space to properties of particles in our universe. How is the shape of the Calabi-Yau space studied and improved? What are some shortcomings of this method?

Essay Topic 3

A Cosmic Anomaly

Until a few years ago, concepts like "tears" in the fabric of space-time were purely science fiction. However, string theory has shown that these occurrences are possible. Part 1) Explain the concept of a tear in space-time. What does this tear represent, and how would it interact with its surroundings.

Part 2) Describe the discovery of space-tearing flop transitions. Describe conifold transitions. How and why do these transitions occur? How are the dangers of these tears prevented?

Part 3) It is possible that these kinds of tears could be created and manipulated at will. What are the possible uses and applications of these tears? Would their use be conscionable, given their apparent danger?

(see the answer keys)

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